What You Need to Know about Vote Your Conscience and RNC Convention Rules

CPC Orange TrumpThe supposed “controversy” over Vote Your Conscience rules is a fabricated and blatant lie.

The questionable practices here are those of the news media, who continue to distort and mislead our country’s voters on the purposes and rules of the state primaries and their role in the nominating process.

In fact, the election of the Republican Nominee for the upcoming general election is wholly separate from the state’s primary results, and this process has been in effect since the first Republican Party Convention in 1860, which nominated Abraham Lincoln on the fourth ballot.

The only exception occurred when the Rules Committee to the 1976 Convention changed the long held policy of permitting delegates to “vote their conscience,” in favor of binding all delegate votes to the primary rules or laws of their state.  In every other convention from 1860 to present, delegates have had the protected right of registering their votes separately, and splitting the votes between nominees rather than voting as a state bloc for one nominee.  The 1976 rule was abandoned in 1980.

It sounds confusing, but it’s rather simple.  In 2012 for instance, some Nevada state delegates chose to vote their conscience and cast votes for Ron Paul, resulting in five delegate abstentions, five delegate votes for Romney, and 17 delegate votes for Paul.  Though Romney won the state’s primary easily, in the record of the Convention floor vote, he took only five delegate votes of 28 from Nevada.  According to Nevada State Rules, 17 were bound to Romney and five to Paul, but individual delegates chose to exercise their right to vote independently.  Reportedly, this occurred in other state delegations, as well.

Convention Vote Graphic

Romney had more than enough support to overcome Nevada’s conscience voting in 2012, as has usually been the case with the presumptive nominee, at least in modern history.

This year could be different. There is tremendous angst with Donald Trump and the way his campaign and the media colluded to propel him to the top of the very large pool of hopefuls with which the GOP primary began.

If the rules remain as they were in 2012, the RNC Convention in Cleveland could see a “revolt” among delegates. It is possible that many delegates could abstain or vote their conscience, leaving Donald Trump without the necessary 1237 delegate votes to win the nomination.

CPC Chicago ConventionHere’s the catch:  the rules will be adopted at the start of the Convention, as usual, prior to voting for the nominee.  This is where dirty tricks happen.  For example, in 2012 Rule 40(b) was adopted; previously a candidate was required to win a majority of delegates in five states to be on the convention ballot, but Rule 40(b) raised the threshold to eight states, knocking Ron Paul out of contention.

Ted Cruz and Donald Trump have eclipsed that threshold this year, and presumably will both be on the convention ballot in Cleveland.  Until the proposed rules changes are voted on by convention delegates, however,                                                                                    there is no way to know exactly what is possible.

As it currently stands, Donald Trump is the Presumptive Nominee in name only.  The way to the nomination goes through the state delegates, not the primary or caucus vote.  Through their protected right of conscience, the 2016 delegates, elected at their State Conventions, may yet surprise us by ousting Trump on his egotistic, lying, orange fanny.


As seen on MadisonsCPC.


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